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October 1, 2013 / BTM

Did the Disciples Lie?

As a follow up to my last post, the next few posts will contain some activities for children on the reliability of the New Testament documents.  We did these activities with our boys when they were 5 and 7 years old.  They are designed to introduce a basic fact about how the New Testament documents were created and passed down over time.

ACTIVITY: WOULD YOU DIE FOR A LIE?

Concept being taught:

Did the disciples make up the stories about Jesus, particularly His resurrection from the dead?

Quotable:

“The disciples had nothing to gain by lying and starting a new religion. They faced hardship, ridicule, hostility, and martyr’s deaths.  In light of this, they could never have sustained such unwavering motivation if they knew what they were preaching was a lie.  The disciples were not fools and Paul was a cool-headed intellectual of the first rank.  There would have been several opportunities over three to four decades of ministry to reconsider and renounce a lie.”

J.P. Moreland as quoted by Apologetics 315

Activity:

Together with your children, make up a pretend story.  You could each make up a story, or you could each take turns adding a few sentences to the story to build a joint story (Mom starts the story, at a pivotal point she turns the narrative over to child 1, who continues for a bit, then turns the story over to child 2, etc… until the story winds down or you feel it’s gone on long enough!).  If you find story telling hard, either you or your children could make up something funny that DIDN’T happen at school or home that day.

When you’re done, say: “What if a police officer came up to us right now and asked us to tell him our story, would you? ”

(Answer: Yes – there’s nothing wrong with that.)

Then say: “What if the same police officer said, ‘You are not allowed to tell anyone else that story.  People think your stories are true.  If you tell anyone else that story, I’m going to put you in jail and I’m going to kill you because I don’t like your story.’  What would you do?”

(Answer: We’d stop telling stories!  After all, it’s just a story, and it’s not true.  Why would we give up our life or go to jail for something that’s just a story?)

Next say: “But what if telling or writing down stories was Mom and Dad’s job.  What if the only way we could earn money for our family was by telling stories like the one we just made up?  Then would you try to tell the story to others, even if you might get caught and go to jail for it?”

(Answer: No, we can always get another job.  It’s not important enough to risk going to jail or being killed over.)

Now for the teaching point: 

Some people say the disciples made up the story of Jesus rising from the dead because it made them popular.  Other people say that the disciples made it up because they could earn money from people by telling the story.  For some of the disciples, telling this ‘story’ was their only job at the time – they were missionaries.  And the police did tell them to stop telling their story or they would go to jail or be killed.  But the disciples didn’t stop telling people the amazing story about Jesus rising from the dead and paying the penalty for our sins.  They were put in jail and most were killed because they did not stop telling everyone about Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.  Why do you think the disciples were willing to go to jail or to die rather than stop telling people the story about Jesus?

(Answer: because it was the truth and it was important for people to know about it.)

How did the disciples know that their story was true?

(Answer: They saw it with their own eyes.)

No one dies for something that they know is a lie!

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Robert McRoberts / Oct 4 2013 1:18 pm

    Wonderful. The Lord has given you a most creative mind. I think it is extremely important for parents to be training their children at a young age to be discerning in their thinking concering Christianity. To tell a child that “you just have to believe the Bible because it is inspired” doesn’t go very far in this age of skepticism. I am looking forward to more of your articles dealing with matters of faith and reason.

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  1. How Certain Can We Be That Jesus Actually Died and Rose Again From the Dead? | A disciple's study

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